You know what’s the best feeling in the entire world? Reading a sequel that is even better than the first book! I loved Amanda Foody’s Ace of Shade and the sequel, King of Fools completely swept me off my feet. Enne, Levi and the rest of the literal gang are some of my favorite characters, and their story is one you just can’t put down!
Also, if you haven’t read Ace of Shades yet, what are you doing? Seriously, you’re missing out on some very epic steampunk fantasy. Want a quick refresher on the Shadow Game series? Check out my Ace of Shades review.
I just REALLY love the whole plot for King of Fools.
New Reynes is murky and decidedly villainous. Any second now your favorite characters could have their throats slashed, or get kidnapped, or find themselves thrown into a river. Seriously, the crime in this city? it just seeps through the pages.
Villains are evil. Gangsters are evil. Everyone’s evil. And revolutions have dire consequences. That’s basically the point of the story. And I can get behind that, really I can.
And a final observation, Amanda Foody is not afraid to kill characters. At all. The end of this book left me heartbroken. For some strange reason, I just don’t think the conclusion to this series will actually mend my heart. King of Fools did lots of unexpected things and I’m kind of afraid for all these characters.
Enne Salta is one of my favorite female characters, ever.
I love how Enne knows her limitations and wants to appear stronger than she is. Just completely relatable.
In Ace of Shades, Enne starts as a boarding school drop out, and now Enne is a struggling gangster trying not to drop out of the gangster life. And by struggle, I mean she has no idea how to run a gang. Except all of her gangsters have to wear lace gloves. A mood.
Gangs have to claim a crime, and Enne isn’t exactly a criminal masterpiece. And most of the gangs in New Reynes have already claimed a signature crime, so Enne’s gang has to come up with something new. Maybe banking and stock markets will work?
Levi Glaisyer is in WAY over his head but I can’t really blame him?
After all is it his fault he’s in an unbreakable vow situation with a cruel Donna, maybe in love, and sending his best friend into grave danger? okay, maybe all this is his fault. We’ll see.
Also, one thing about Amanda Foody’s writing is that her characters really do feel like teenagers. And it can be hard to keep Levi, Enne and the rest really feel like teenagers in the middle of book about crime families and politics.
All that to say, sometimes Levi feels EXACTLY like a teenager. The high moments when he feels completely on top of the world, the annoying times where he just refuses to talk to Enne, and the internal monologue where he questions all of his decisions and doubts his entire life. Poor Levi, his self doubt and mixed feelings feel SO REAL.
Enne seems confident, a lot, even when she’s faking it, she seems internally confident. She knows that this gangster life is scary, but at the same time, Enne doesn’t’ seem to worry that she’ll loose.
On the other hand, Levi second guesses every decision and his own reasons for even living in New Reynes. I really felt for Levi, even when I wanted to thunk him across the head. Just go talk to Enne.
And an addition to the POV from Ace of Shades, Amanda Foody includes a new voice in King of Fools, Jac.
Also I spent 20 minutes trying to find Jac’s last name and I can’t find it. Maybe because I didn’t open the book and just kept glancing through goodreads. Hmmm.
At first I was confused why Jac had his own chapters, but as I kept reading, it became more and more clear that Jac’s voice is very important to the story. Jac is an absolute dear and I just wanted to hold his hand and make sure he was okay.
Jac’s story just shows the rougher edges of Levi’s ambition while exploring how vengeance and greed truly affect the people around you.
Also, I just really liked Jac’s personality? He’s very different from Levi and Enne. I’d call Jac insightful because I think he picks up on EVERYTHING.
PLUS, there’s new characters you’ll grow to love. And maybe hate just a smidge. Enne’s gang grows, there are new enemies in New Reynes (new evil people in the City of Sin? SHOCK) Anyway, the entire cast of characters is SUPER fun and I can’t wait for the third book.
On the quest to find her missing mother, prim and proper Enne Salta became reluctant allies with Levi Glaisyer, the city’s most famous con man. Saving his life in the Shadow Game forced Enne to assume the identity of Seance, a mysterious underworld figure. Now, with the Chancellor of the Republic dead and bounties on both their heads, she and Levi must play a dangerous game of crime and politics…with the very fate of New Reynes at stake.
Thirsting for his freedom and the chance to build an empire, Levi enters an unlikely partnership with Vianca Augustine’s estranged son. Meanwhile, Enne remains trapped by the mafia donna’s binding oath, playing the roles of both darling lady and cunning street lord, unsure which side of herself reflects the truth.
As Enne and Levi walk a path of unimaginable wealth and opportunity, new relationships and deadly secrets could quickly lead them into ruin. And when unforeseen players enter the game, they must each make an impossible choice: To sacrifice everything they’ve earned in order to survive…
Or die as legends.
Have you read Ace of Shades? Are you excited to check out King of Fools?
Enne’s gang all wears lace gloves, and Levi’s gang is known for being card dealers — If you were in charge of a gang, what would be your gangs signature style?